Inovio Says Its Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in Early-stage Trial

James Marshall
July 4, 2020

Investors have bid up the company on hopes that its vaccine candidate for COVID-19 proves successful in human trials.

The vaccine, one of 17 being tested in humans and part of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed program, induced immune responses in 34 of the 36 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 50 years, Inovio said.

The company's stock hit a record high of $31.69 on Monday, the day it released the positive, yet limited data about its vaccine candidate. Inovio said it is planning to begin a mid-to-late stage study in summer to measure the vaccine's efficacy.

The Phase 1 clinical trial of INO-4800 initially enrolled 40 healthy adult volunteers 18 to 50 years of age at two USA sites.

One of the main purposes of the early trial by Inovio was to check safety and the company said most of the 10 patients with side-effects experienced only redness at the site of the shot.

Inovio's vaccine, called INO-4800, is created to inject DNA into a person so as to set off a specific immune system response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The interim Phase 1 data from Inovio showed that 94% of trial participants demonstrated overall immune response at week six after two doses of INO-4800, according to the company.

Moreover, INO-4800 is now being tested in a ferret challenge model as well as in NHP challenge studies as part of Operation Warp Speed.

The biotech has previously shown that INO-4800 generated neutralising antibodies and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical studies, but the lack of clear information in the first human data seems to have given shareholders the jitters as its stock closed down 15% yesterday.

"Leveraging our previous expertise in MERS with INO-4700, where we demonstrated significant antibody and cellular responses, the breadth and profile of the responses observed to date with INO-4800 targeting SARS-CoV-2 provide a promising read towards further development and addressing the existing public health threat".

Precision Vaccinations publishes coronavirus vaccine development news.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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